Q: Everything else I’ve ever tried has failed, why won’t this?
A: The Down25 program is about making SMALL changes in your lifestyle – many of them to behaviors that you don’t even know are affecting your weight. If you stick with every aspect of the program – you will succeed. We promise! Most diets and exercise programs are about dramatic and radical change – which is VERY BAD and rarely successful. Which is why almost every contestant on the Biggest Loser TV show gains ALL their weight back and MORE!
Q: How long does the program last?
A: Obesity is a chronic disease. Regardless of what you weigh, you will always have it (think of alcoholics who haven’t had a drink in twenty years). So how long your program last will depend on your goals. Some clients reach their goal weight, and feel ready to maintain it in 4-6 months. Others reach their goal weight quickly, but want to stay on a maintenance program for a longer time. And still others require a longer time to reach their goal weight. The objective of our program is to get you to your healthy goal weight, and teach you the life skills to stay at that weight for the rest of your life.
Q: Are you going to make me eat cardboard and seaweed?
A: No. And we’re not going to starve you either. But you will have to choose a diet you’re comfortable with. It can be any diet – Paleo, Atkins, Weight Watchers, even vegetarian or vegan, etc. – or you can create your own, as long as it meets certain requirements. We tend to recommend high protein/low carb diets. The most important thing is to find a diet you can stick to. Your Personal Partner or another member of the Down25 team will be more than happy to help you choose a diet that’s best for you. (NOTE: If you LIKE cardboard and seaweed, we can work something out.)
Q: Are you going to try to turn me into a gym rat?
A: Nope. We know that most people hate intense exercise. But we also know that you have to maintain a certain level of activity to burn a certain level of calories each day. That’s how you lose weight. So this program will simply require you to increase your daily activity a mild amount. Walking or bike riding is what most people choose. And if you’re like most Down25 clients, you’ll probably find that, as your weight drops, you can tolerate more daily exercise. So while most of us will never spend 8 hours a day at the gym, we all end up looking pretty darn good in yoga pants!
Q: Are the medicines used in the program safe?
A: Our patients’ health and safety is always our primary concern. The drugs we incorporate into the program are all FDA approved, which means they meet an incredibly high standard of safety testing. A good deal of the success of the Down25 program can be attributed to some of the novel new drugs that have recently been approved to treat obesity. Dr. Sipe and the Down25 team are very excited about how well these medicines integrate into the overall program to treat our clients’ obesity, prevent diseases associated with obesity, and extend our clients’ lives. In addition, Dr. Sipe has personally taken most of these medications.
Q: Do the devices really speed up the weight loss that much?
A: The devices we use can help your weight loss program tremendously. The FDA has approved one device that has been proven to cause 90 lb. weight loss in superobese people and keep the weight off for greater than three years, without drugs! Another device can be given to you as a pill to swallow and will expand in your stomach to create the sensation of fullness so you will push away from the table earlier in the meal. At Down25, using devices in your program is totally OPTIONAL and they are all implemented through minimally invasive or non-invasive procedures. For the best and fastest weight loss results, we recommend that, if you choose to include a device, you only do so in combination with medication, diet, lifestyle changes, and exercise.
Q: How does technology fit into the program?
A: The problem with modern medicine is that the doctor is disconnected from their patients. They really don’t know what happens outside their office. At Down25, we use technology to track your health on a daily basis. Every patient uses Bluetooth-enabled scales and fitness trackers that send daily reports to the Down25 team – and your Personal Partner – so we can see how well you’re doing. Or, if we notice you experiencing a slight setback, we can offer encouragement, or suggestions on how to get back on track. Constant and regular interconnection with your medical team is what helps make the Down25 program successful.
Q: Are there any age limits to the program?
A: We do not accept any clients under the age of 17. Technically, we do not have an upper age limit, but rather we determine whether each individual client is “medically fit” to participate in the program. Losing a substantial amount of weight, increasing exercise, and other portions of the Down25 program can put stress on your body, and we will not accept a client if we think they will not be able to handle that stress.
Q: Did Dr. Sipe really go through the Down25 program himself?
A: Yes. His personal battle to lose weight was what inspired him to create the Down25 program.
“I was almost 300 lb., 50 years old, and I looked like a heart attack waiting to happen. I was chronically tired and in pain. I knew that, if I didn’t do something about it, I was going to be lucky to make it to 60 years-old. But, I also knew I could kill myself, or worse – cause a stroke or heart attack – by doing the wrong thing. So I ended up creating Down25.
“I studied, read, went to all the conferences, visited and talked to so many of the thought leaders from Harvard, Yale, MIT, University of Chicago, Scripps Clinic, Pennington, Brigham, Brown, St Louis Univ., Duke, and so many more. I had so many books and papers stacked all over my office at one time it was hard to move. And in the end, I wanted to tell everyone what I learned.
“I changed my life completely – new practice, new connection with my family, new attitude. I developed a program that combined the best of everything I had studied about obesity – took the medication that was right for me, ate the right foods in the right proportions, made changes to my lifestyle, even slept better.
“I dropped down to 240 lb. in 5 months and I have maintained it ever since without too much difficulty. For me, it’s been amazing, because I had tried every diet known to man, but could never KEEP the weight off. That’s what is different about the Down25 program. And why I’m so excited about sharing it with my patients.”
Q: Do you accept insurance?
A: We do accept insurance, but often insurance companies do not view obesity as the problem that it truly is. So we will make every effort to work with your insurance company. If they are unwilling to recognize the importance of your health efforts, we will work with you to make payments as affordable as possible.
Q: How much does the program cost?
A: You always choose what level of services you want to receive from Down25. And the costs of the program will vary depending on the elements you choose (i.e. procedures, equipment, etc.), but roughly, here is how the costs break down:
For Clients With Insurance:
Step 1 Initial Consultation Your insurance co-pay. No additional costs to you.
Step 2 Launch Meeting Your insurance co-pay. No additional costs to you.
Step 3 Months 0-2 $370 + insurance co-pay. This price includes office visits for 2 months, purchase of an electronic scale, and Metabolic Monitoring Fee for 2 months.
Step 4 Months 2-6 $125/month This price includes the Metabolic Monitoring Fee for 4 months and can be paid all at once, or as monthly or biweekly drafts from your credit card.
GOALS MET / MAINTENANCE Month 6+ $50/month After six months, if you have met your goal weight, your Down25 team will simply monitor your weight remotely to make sure you maintain your achievement.
Please note the above costs do not include your insurance co-pays. Typically, they are ($25-30/per encounter) but some high-deductible plans can have high co-pays. If you would like us to find out how much your visits will cost, please let us know. We will be happy to do so.
Q: Can I use my HAS/FSA?
A: In our experience, yes. Remember, your employer, the insurance companies, as well as the rest of the health care system all want you to lose weight and be healthier. So it only makes sense that the costs incurred in the Down25 would qualify under Health Savings Accounts and Flexible Spending Accounts. If you discover differently, please let us know.
Q: What is the Metabolic Monitoring Fee?
A: Metabolic monitoring is our active process of monitoring your weight loss while you are at home. Your Personal Partner or another member of the Down25 team will check your progress through the online applications from your Bluetooth scale and fitness tracker. Your team member will then be able to communicate with you (by email or text) if you need encouragement, congratulations, suggestions, to schedule an appointment, etc.